Giving your kids a credit card at the age of 7 is insanity, but in this digital age surely giving your kids coins as pocket money isn’t really setting them up for the future they’ll be living in.
Enter Spriggy, an app based banking service aimed at revolutionising pocket money, giving kids financial freedom and learning a bit of financial literacy while they’re at it.
For years (my kids are 12, 8 and 7) we’ve been handing over coins for jobs and incentivising (read: Blackmailing) our kids into doing things around the house in return for money. Problem is they keep the money in a jar or a box or who the hell knows where and when you get to the shops they say “I’ll use my money” and when you ask how much they have – you have to trust that they have a/ remembered, and b/can actually count correctly.
So – we’ve gone fully digital. We’re testing Spriggy and our own ANZ bank at home, for this first review, I’ll look at Spriggy alone, and what it offers.
Signing up was easy, three kids, setup and signed up all via an app.
The kids got to choose their “card” – because each “account” you setup gets a VISA payment card to use at the shops.
Superhero characters or a pig, and fortunately no fights over making sure they all got something different.
Just a few days later, the cards arrived, and the kids are happy.
Next up, as the parent, I had to do a bank transfer to setup my “parent wallet”, this is fastest using your own debit card, or can be done over a day or so with a bank transfer – this si also getting faster due to the recent changes in instant payments between banks.
Now the money is in my “wallet” – and I can no longer touch that money myself – it’s basically sitting in the ether. But, within the app, I can choose to transfer that directly to my child’s own card/account. That’s the most basic usage of Spriggy, “Hey, I’ll pay you $1” – and bang, transfer the money.
Once it’s on their card – they can go to any store that accepts Visa, using tap-and-go or swipe and PIN.
But that’s just scratching the surface. Each child can then setup savings goals. They then get to move their money into their savings accounts. Each of these is in essence – old school wise – a bank account. But only their main account has the card they can use.
Once funds go into a savings goal, they can’t take them out willy nilly – thus, encouraging a saving culture.
And then there’s pocket money and chores.
Pocket money can be setup to automatically pay from the Parent Wallet at set intervals, and Chores can be setup individually with a dollar amount associated with each.
When a child completes a chore, they open the Spriggy app on their device, and mark it as so, but the money isn’t transferred until Mum or Dad have approved the chore as “done” in their app.
Spriggy makes paying pocket money and paying for chores a breeze, and it also teaches kids about saving for a goal.
Having their very own card makes the whole thing much more “real”, and when you’re at the shops, it makes them think twice about that thing they want to buy. Handy.
Well, that’s the kicker, it’s $30 a year, per child. As my wife says, a bank account is free.
At this stage, having trialled it for a month or so, I think the argument for Spriggy is the sheer amount of things the App can do – so you’re really paying for an App subscription.
I’m yet to see a bank account that allows kids to setup savings goals and transfer their own money there with ease, and while there are plenty of pocket money and chore apps out there, none of them actually create the financial transaction that means your kids can immediately go out and spend the money!
Yes, $30 a year for the kind of features here, seems a pretty good price – but if you already have a great way of managing chores and pocket money and are looking just for the card for the kids to use shopping, I’ve no doubt a bank account is a simpler option – though complex to establish!
Personally, as an all encompassing pocket money, banking, chores and payments service – it’s great value for money I reckon.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.